Index II, Yakumo, Letter Bee, all threes

If you ignore the cult-babble A Certain Magical Index 3 almost makes sense. I suppose it helps to know that the Amakusa Church wants Orsola Aquinas (for different reasons than we think), and so do the Roman Catholics, though why they dragged the Church of England into this I don’t know. But all you need to do is follow Touma, not a member of anything, as he tries to get to the bottom of this for his own reasons. Also Steryl and Index, of course, who have their own way of dealing with the bad guys when they arrive, by deserting Touma.

Yeah, keep it on a human level. There’s a nice but rather long scene between Touma and Orsola (every time she escapes she runs into him) where she wonders what his affiliation is and seems surprised that he doesn’t have one. He’s just helping her out because he wants to. What the connection is with the crucifix he gives her (which Steryl gave to him) we don’t know yet, but that’s normal for this show. As for the plot, it seems that the Amakusa Church wanted Orsola because it will cause their saint, Kanzaki, to … feel better, I suppose. Seiji, the Amakusa leader, is pretty vague. The Roman Catholic Church, he claims, wants to kill her.

A member of the Roman Catholic Church.

You don’t have to understand the stuff about the disciples that sister Angelene unleashes (“debt collector, eradicator of magicians and lowly servant”) or Index negating the spell by babbling letters which sister Luccia (the crazy-looking girl above) describes as a Spell Intercept. Basically, Orsola Knows Too Much, one side wants to kill her, the other to use her, while Touma just wants her safe. Oh, and Index bites Touma’s head again, while Steryl still looks down at everyone. That’s all you need to know.

Psychic Detective Yakumo remains on probation. A lot of things in episode 3 work well, but some do not, and I have to start cutting something.

The story mostly was fine. Since we aren’t really sure which ghost was the main character it kept us guessing. It came to an exciting conclusion with some nice character development for Yakumo. But many things didn’t add up. Why did Nakahara and Haruka go off in his car? Did he have a motive after seeing the picture on Yakumo’s wall? Not to mention the sheer coincidence of Nakahama visiting Yakumo in the first place.

Poor kid ...

The climax went to a place I didn’t expect and worked well. Yakumo may have certain abilities, but he’s still powerless, unable to rescue the ghost kid from the nasty things in the tunnel. For which he beats himself up. Sadly, this leads to scenes of other characters talking about how troubled he is. We had figured that out already. And Haruka still has no personality at all. And they STILL haven’t gotten to the obviously evil guys we see every episode …

Letter Bee Reverse 3 is a standalone, full of heartwarming moments and stupid plot devices.

Well, it starts out well, discounting the “what shall I write to Gauche?” stuff at the very beginning. Sickly Ray Atlee has been receiving hand-painted postcards from a mysterious someone which have bolstered her spirits. She wants Lag to find out who’s been sending them. Lag becomes a detective, checking out the watermark (the world famous Howling Axolotls brand) and the paints. Meanwhile we’ve seen enough of the story to figure out it’s the clumsy new maid, Kimidori. But it’s nice to see Lag come to this conclusion on his own.

Amberground's first wide-screen flat-panel HDTV.

Alas, from here on out we get the same old deux ex amber spirit. When another maid tries to take credit for the postcards (in return for a lot of land) Lag, who has been sworn to secrecy, whips out the gun and, sigh, once again everything is revealed. I’m very tired of this plot device. It looks like Letter Bee hasn’t changed. I should really drop it, but after watching so many episodes I’ve sort of grown attached. I’ll give it one more chance.

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